In-Office Procedures — LEEP

A LEEP, or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, is performed to remove abnormal cells from the surface of the cervix. Your practitioner may recommend that you have this procedure if you've had an abnormal pap. It is helpful in diagnosing and treating the abnormal cells in the cervix.

The LEEP procedure is typically done in the office. A speculum will be placed in your vagina in order to see your cervix. A colposcopy may be performed just prior to the LEEP to help identify the location of the abnormal tissue. Usually a local anesthetic or numbing medicine is used to lessen the discomfort of the procedure. The procedure is done with a small wire loop that has electrical current that quickly cuts through the cervical tissue to remove the abnormal portion. Once the tissue is removed, it is sent to the laboratory to be sure that all of the abnormal cells were removed and to more accurately evaluate the degree of the abnormality.

After the procedure you may experience some mild cramping. Taking ibuprofen can help to lessen the discomfort. You will also notice some vaginal discharge for a time while your cervix heals. It is important that you not put anything in your vagina or have intercourse until your cervix is healed. Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to use tampons or have sex. If you have either heavy bleeding or foul-smelling discharge, you should call the office.